Caribbean hotbed of pollution, report warns

| 18/07/2019 | 40 Comments
Cayman News Service
Plastic pollutes the ocean

(CNS): Marine pollution is threatening the economic prosperity of the Caribbean, especially its smaller islands, according to a recent report by the World Bank. Over-fishing, coral reef decline and plastic are all major threats, and the report found that Caribbean beaches could have three times the amount of plastic than the global average, largely due to poor waste management. The world’s most popular destinations are now hot-spots for marine debris.

Marine Pollution in the Caribbean: Not a Minute to Waste, analyses the causes and offers solutions for ocean pollution in the wider Caribbean Region (WCR). Data from beach and coastal clean-ups indicates that plastic beverage bottles alone amounted to 21% of the items recorded. Among all plastic items collected, 35% were single-use plastics.

“Marine pollution has been growing at alarming rates in the WCR,” the authors write. “Marine pollution pays no respect to national borders— pollutants generated in one country can find their way to the waters of another.” Caribbean small island developing states (SIDS) “are exposed to concentrations of marine litter that are disproportionate to their own consumption and population”.

The report found that the region is extremely vulnerable to the impact of ocean pollution because of the dependence on natural resources for fishing and tourism. Solid waste and wastewater are the most pervasive sources of marine pollution in the region, with 80% of the pollution from solids and liquids from land-based sources due to poor waste-management standards.

More than 320,000 tons of plastic waste remains uncollected each year in this region. Some 22% of households dispose of waste in waterways or on land, where it can be washed into waterways. The report found that the highest concentration of beach litter was found on the shores of Jamaica, where well over a third of homes do not have waste-collection services.

The increase in plastic pollution has driven many countries to act, and while the Cayman government continues to drag its heels regarding the campaign to ban single-use plastics, 14 Caribbean countries so far have banned the use of single-use plastic bags and/or Styrofoam.

And just as the Cayman government is planning to destroy acres of healthy coral reef and continues to develop on wetlands, the report warns that the destruction of these marine ecosystems and seagrass beds leaves islands vulnerable to extreme weather, as well as undermines the natural habitat people depend on for livelihoods and life.

See the full report here

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Category: Caribbean, Marine Environment, Science & Nature, World News

Comments (40)

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  1. Anonymous says:

    Time will tell won’t it you happy go lucky, free market,Republican. You and your life sucking ilk can just keep it up til it’s on fire. Buh-bye

  2. Anonymous says:

    “largely due to poor waste management”. Not in Cayman Bobo, we got tings under control up in here!

  3. Anonymous says:

    The whole south and east coast of this island is covered in small fragments of Darts disposable containers. Maybe he can spare some of his billions to aid in a regional clean-up effort? Maybe he can stop production of the planet poisoning material known as Styrofoam and switch to a biodegradable? Nahhh Dart only cares about $ and development!

  4. Anonymous says:


  5. Anonymous says:

    Cayman youth, who are passionate about saving the oceans, can take part, as volunteers perhaps, in the Ocean Cleanup project being employed in the Pacific right now. There they would gain hands-on experience, knowledge and skill in the ocean-cleanup field.
    In not so distant future each and every Caribbean country would be forced to implement their own ocean(sea)-clean up system to protect beaches from marine plastic. Having its own experienced specialists in the field would be greatly beneficial. This future project(s) would create many jobs, so start acting now. Perhaps businesses in the Cayman Islands would want to sponsor the volunteers.

    VOLUNTEER APPLICATION (Closing date: 10 September 2019)

    watch this video on the Ocean Cleanup progress (Jun 7, 2019)

    The largest cleanup in history

    P.S. If your leaders were visionaries, they would have already started to prepare.

  6. Anonymous says:

    “Coral reef declines”

    Unity government – Hey let’s destroy all this endangered coral for a cruise port we don’t need or can handle.

  7. Anonymous says:

    Can you imagine that our government not only turns a blind eye to single use plastics, but wants to destroy reef and marine life to build a dock? Nothing left for our kids.

  8. Anonymous says:

    “Absolute balderdash, we’re all squeaky here” might sound like some CIG press release.
    Yeh, right…

  9. Anonymous says:

    yep…. carribean 3rd world mentality on the environment is now getting its payback through sargassum……

  10. Anonymous says:

    of course..just look at the dump.
    also look to the cayman compass which says cayman has no environmental responsibility because we are too small…..zzzzzzzzzzzzz
    welcome to wonderland

  11. Anonymous says:

    How fitting that your savior mr Dart is located in a hotbed of pollution. Let the chorus of yeah but China start

  12. Anonymous says:

    Ironic that the Dart empire began with the invention and distribution of single use styrofoam.

  13. Anonymous says:

    With Mount Trashmore and no recycling the Cayman Islands but be close to the top of the list.

  14. Anonymous says:

    Fix the damn dump!


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